Veterans

June 15, 2012

Labor Department paves job path for service members, vets

by Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

Department of Labor officials are reaching out to let transitioning service members and veterans know about the department’s many training programs to give them a successful path to employment.

From workshops to job fairs and one-on-one training, DOL is committed to connecting veterans with jobs, Junior Ortiz, DOL’s deputy assistant secretary for Veterans’ Employment, told American Forces Press Service.

“We are the employment arm of the government [and] the DOL is charged to take care of employment issues, … but specifically for our veterans,” he said. “We must make sure our veterans are employed.”

Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis is “very committed to making sure that we take care of our veterans,” Ortiz said. Solis has said, ‘Our veterans have taken care of us. Now it’s time for us to take care of them,’” he said.

As many as 1.5 million service members are expected to transition out of the military during the next five years, said Ortiz, a former Marine Corps officer.

“We have a lot of young men and women coming out of the service who are having a hard time finding something,” he said, “because they don’t realize the resources are out there … to help them find good opportunities and perhaps great careers.”

“We prepare them, we provide the information and skills they need to find good jobs and we protect their rights,” he said.

“DOL has so many facilities and so many pieces that help a veteran, it’s like being on a military team,” he added.

Ortiz outlined just a few of DOL’s resources for transitioning service members and veterans:

  • The Transition Assistance Program, also known as the Employment Workshop, ensures service members have the information they need to make a successful transition back to civilian life, and helps them determine how their military skills transfer to civilian jobs – something Ortiz says people underestimate.

“That’s one of the biggest problems we have,” he said of service members who aren’t sure how to market themselves for a job. “We teach them how to translate [their military experience] to a resume and their skill sets into viable aspects so they can get a job,” he said.

  • The One-Stop-Career centers – 2,800 nationwide – help people obtain training and other support to secure a job. The center serves as a resource to explore careers, salaries and benefits, obtain education and training, do job searches, learn how to write resumes and do interviews.

Transitioning service members become part of the DOL’s Gold Card Initiative following completion of TAP. The gold card gives them six months of intensive one-on-one work with a veterans outreach program. “The gold card is a great way to get them to a One-Stop-Career center and set them up for a good job,” Ortiz said.

  • My Next Move for veterans helps transitioning service members determine their eligibility for jobs. By putting their military occupational specialty into a program to find a civilian-equivalent job, they’re coached on how to compete for a job, what it pays, and how and where those particular jobs are available across the country, Ortiz said. The program also allows service members to apply for jobs online.
  • Hiring Our Heroes is a DOL program that partners with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to conduct job fairs in cities across the country, Ortiz said. Hiring officials from the local area talk to transitioning service members and veterans about their companies, and can interview and even hire them on the spot or later, he said.
  • The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program is training in which DOL, the Veterans Affairs Department and other agencies work together to give veterans’ employment “the full push,” Ortiz said. DOL and the VA have created a seamless transition in VRAP, he said, to help veterans find jobs. It is open only to veterans who are between the ages of 35 and 60, unemployed and have exhausted all benefits for job training.

Under VRAP, Ortiz said, DOL determines a veteran’s eligibility, then VA works with them to decide what abilities they have. The VA also arranges for training and certification in their field, and returns them to DOL to begin looking for work through the One-Stop-Career center program.

Service members have grown up in the military culture of success, and working as a team is their mindset until they look for a job on their own, Ortiz said.

“They don’t have that person in front, beside or behind them to protect them anymore,” he said. “We train them to be successful. … We want to transition them and let them know that they, in fact, do have a person in front, right next to them and behind them.”

Because service members sometimes struggle to translate military skills into civilian job skills, Ortiz suggests hiring officials put the resume aside in an interview and rely more on talking to the veteran applicant. “Nine times out of ten, what the hiring official is looking for, that individual already has,” he said.

“I tell [hiring managers], ‘Do you really think an 18-year-old kid who came into the service and learned how to put together and take apart a radar system of an F-18 aircraft really had all those skill sets when he first walked in? He or she had to learn those things. And if they’re able to do that, imagine what they’ll be able to do in any company.’”

There also are the “intangibles” of employing veterans, he said, such as loyalty, duty, honor, trustworthiness, a solid work ethic, and how as team members, they work under pressure.

“You have someone who will work because it’s part of their culture,” Ortiz said. “They want to be successful … and bringing that success in will also build the company up.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 15, 2014

News: Navy identifies pilot presumed dead in crash - A Navy fighter pilot presumed dead after two fighter jets crashed in the far western Pacific Ocean has been identified.   Business: Boeing eyes 737-700 solution for new JSTARS - Boeing is officially planning a variant of its 737-700 commercial jetliner as a competitor for the Air Force’s...
 
 

News Briefs September 15, 2014

Australia contributing planes for anti-IS campaign Australia is preparing to contribute 600 troops and up to 10 military aircraft to the increasingly aggressive campaign against the Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sept. 14. Abbott said Australia was responding to a formal request from the United States for specific...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Lockheed Martin conducts flight tests of aircraft laser turret for DARPA

AFRL photograph The Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control turret that Lockheed Martin is developing for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory has completed initial flight testing. T...
 

 

Lockheed Martin advances live, virtual, constructive training in flight test

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jvXmOW8L3mU Lockheed Martin successfully tested a new solution for integrated live, virtual and constructive training during a flight demonstration at the company’s Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, Texas. During the flight test, a pilot flying in a live F-16 engaged in a synthetic training exercise with a pilot flying as wing...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover arrives at Martian mountain

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet’s Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission’s long-term prime destination. “Curiosity n...
 
 

Raytheon begins full rate production on TALON Laser Guided Rockets

Under a $117 million contract awarded to Raytheon, Raytheon Missile Systems has begun production of the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. In 2013, the Armed Forces General Headquarters of the United Arab Emirates awarded Tawazun a contract to procure the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. “Full rate production of the TALON LGR is a significant milestone for...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>